Cyber security

Smartphone Security: 5 Steps to Beat Robocalls

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Robocalls

Some scams can call you on your phone and pretend to be government agencies or private firms and trick you into paying money or revealing personal information. Yes, we are talking about dreaded robocalls. 

A robocall is an automated call usually placed with automated dialing systems including either a pre-recorded voice or robot voice. With the help of autodialer, companies can place hundreds of robocalls instantly. 

Robocalls can even use call spoofing so that they can show up a local number on your caller-id attempting to trick you pick up that call. Essentially, these calls are phishing scams trying to get money from you. Most importantly, robocallers can even have information about you and your family including your address. 

In the United States, robocalls rank as one of the top consumer complaints reported to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as spammers are making good use of spoofing technologies. Ultimately, an innocent-looking number may not be innocent at all. 

Whether the voice used in such calls is recorded or a robotic one, the ultimate intention behind this is to scam you out of money, personal information, or both. Such callers pretend as they are from some private or government firm or insurance companies that allow them to demand payment, financial information, or some other confidential information

More importantly, some of the robocallers can even sound convincing. While others can go downright aggressive or threatening. One of the most effective tools used by these scammers is a sense of fear or urgency conveying to you that there is a problem right now and need your information immediately to resolve it. That is exactly the sign where you need to take a pause and determine what is happening before taking any action. Now is the time to fight back against these dreaded robocalls. 

Avoid Robocall Scams with these tips

1. Examine your Caller ID carefully:

Some scammers are very proficient at spoofing. They can easily make a robocall look like a local or familiar number. If you anyway get caught and answer a spammy call, hang up immediately. And if you are not sure about the number, enable your voicemail to screen the call. Responding to a call or not might help the scammer verify that your number is valid which can further lead to more nuisance calls down the road. 

2. Don’t call back to unknown numbers:

For example, your voicemail received a call from some unknown number that sounded like it is from a bank or business or require some immediate attention. If you feel like following up, get a valid customer care number from a website, bill, or statement of a bank or any government agency so that you can verify the entire situation yourself. By calling back the same number left in the voicemail could lead to unexpected outcomes. 

3. Avoid Engaging with Scammers on Robocalls:

If anyhow you answered a robocall, try not to say a single word. Moreover, you should avoid answering any questions being asked especially with “Yes” because robocallers could record your voice and afterward use it to validate and approve something like credit cards, purchases, etc. Additionally, some of the scammers are very convincing, so if you find yourself in a conversation that is uncomfortable or pressurizes you to take action as soon as possible, hang up immediately and follow back with banks or other firms as discussed above. 

4. Register for National Do Not Call Registry:

Several countries offer services that are a list that legitimate telemarketers will refer to before making calls. However, this may not stop robocalls from calling you, but it will minimize the number of unsolicited calls in general. For example, countries like the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. offer Do not call registries. 

5. Install software or applications that block unwanted calls:

Numerous mobile carriers provide additional applications that can help you block unwanted calls moreover which are part of your smartphone’s service plan. Also, some third-party applications are serving the same function. However, you need to see if those applications are valid and can effectively block calls and only let good calls reach you. 

Are robocalls getting dreadful?

Unfortunately, robocalls are increasing day by day. FTC received 2.1 million robocall complaints in 2020. Moreover, according to reports, there has been a 39% increase in spam calls. Keeping that in mind, it is time to prepare your defense for robocalls and other spam calls as well. 

Stopping Unsolicited Calls

Robocalls are the worst. The first step you can take to prevent robocalls is to register for the Do Not Call registry. You will see a significant reduction in spam calls. Additionally, install carrier’s blocking application both for landline and mobile block unwanted calls directly from your smartphone, utilize a special robocall blocking application, always hang up such calls right away even if you accidentally answered them.

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